Robinson College News
June 2021

Robinson winners and more help for students: the latest news from Grange Road



New bursary scheme

A new enhanced bursary scheme is being launched by the University of Cambridge to support undergraduate students facing financial pressures. Over the next ten years, more than £100 million will be awarded to students, across all the Colleges. The additional funding, to help with living costs, will enable students to enjoy the benefits a Cambridge education offers, regardless of their personal financial circumstances. Students will start benefiting from October 2021. Robinson was part of a pilot for this initiative and is proud to be part of the new enhanced scheme.

Dr David Woodman, Robinson's Senior Tutor, said:

'We are very grateful for the new bursary scheme, which will bring much-needed additional support to many of our students and allow them to concentrate their efforts on their studies and to make the most of their time in Cambridge.' 

Read more here.

Professor Twink Allen

It is with great sadness and regret the College received the news of the passing of Professor William Richard (Twink) Allen Emeritus Fellow of Robinson College, and formerly the Jim Joel Professor of Equine Reproduction, the University of Cambridge from 1996-2007 on 6 June 2021, aged 80.
Professor Twink Allen was born in New Zealand, a graduate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Sydney, a director of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Equine Fertility Unit, a professor at the University of Cambridge. In her Chapel Interview with Rev Dr Simon Perry, Dr Christine Stopp, a Senior Member Robinson College, talks about Professor Twink Allen’s great passion for music and his invaluable support for the Robinson College Chapel Choir. You can watch this Chapel Interview here.


Platinum for Robinson

We are delighted that Robinson College has achieved a Platinum Award from Green Impact for 2020-21 awarded by #cambridgeuniversity’s environmental accreditation scheme. Robinson Green Team worked so hard and with so much enthusiasm to achieve this award despite the challenges. They have ensured that the Green Journey here at Robinson remains on track. We are grateful for the support given by all the college members to our continuous effort to be greener. You can read more here.




University of Cambridge Sports Awards 2021

Congratulations to Dr Scott Annett, Director of Rugby at the CURUFC, who is one of seven winners of the 2021 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sport. With more than 50 years of collective experience of Cambridge Sport, the winners have been active in their various roles: playing, coaching and administration thus supporting and encouraging the constant evolution and progress in their clubs. They have a tremendous impact on all our student sportswomen and sportsmen. You can read more here.


Robinsonnians called to the squads

Congratulations to two Robinsonians Hetta Friend (Medicine, 2018) and George Cook (MML, 2018) who have been selected for the rugby squads for the Varsity Matches at the Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium, the home of Leicester Tigers on Sunday, 4 July. It will be Hetta’s first appearance and George’s second after getting Blue in 2019. Good luck Hetta and George

Dr Scott Annett, a Fellow of Robinson College and Director of Rugby at CURUFC said about the Varsity matches, “After a very challenging period for all of the men and women hoping to participate in the Varsity Matches this academic year, we are delighted to have the 4 July at Welford Road confirmed in the diary. All of the players are working extremely hard to manage their studies throughout Easter term, while also undertaking the preparations necessary to compete in a Varsity Match, and the Cambridge sides look set to be as competitive as ever. Following two victories in the 2019 fixtures, both the men and women are training to defend their trophies and we hope that there will be a large contingent of alumni, current students and family members in attendance to cheer them on.” Read more here.

Dr Ben Guy's double win

Dr Ben Guy, a Fellow of Robinson College and Teaching Associate, Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge was awarded The Dillwyn Medal 2021 for Early Career Research Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts by the Learned Society of Wales. In his research, Dr Guy explores the written culture of medieval Wales. On receiving this medal, Dr Guy said, “I hope that I can inspire others to seek a deeper understanding of this beautiful yet complex land [Wales].” Read more about Dr Guy’s award and listen to Dr Guy talking about his work and research here.
Dr Guy was also awarded The Francis Jones Prize for the joint-best book in Welsh history 2020 by Jesus College, Oxford for his book Medieval Welsh Genealogy published by Boydell and Brewer. Read more about Dr Guy’s book here. On receiving the Francis Jones Prize, Dr Guy said: "I'm truly delighted to be awarded the Francis Jones Prize for Welsh History 2020. As Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary, Francis Jones had a great interest in medieval Welsh genealogy, the subject of my book, and wrote some important works on the subject. I can only hope that he would have approved of my book being given this award in his name."

Dr Duncan Astle's research on self-harming

Dr Duncan Astle, a Fellow of Robinson College and Director of Studies for Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, talked to BBC News 24 about the self-harm study he co-authored and whose findings will allow scientists to identify early warning signs of self-harm and help to identify an opportunity to improve children’s mental health. You can watch this interview here.

The issues of children’s mental health, self-harm and how to identify its causes even ten years ahead of the actual problem occurring is further discussed and presented in this article.

What can we do better - The New Alumni Survey 2021

Spare us 5 minutes and fill in the survey and win a prize. As we plan for post-Covid recovery, we want to hear from our alumni community about what we can do better, what you’d like to see more or less of, what sorts of events and topics appeal and how often you’d like to hear from us.  Thank you for the valuable feedback that you have already sent us.



Robinsonians honoured by the Queen

Four Robinson alumni have been recognised in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours for their work and dedication. We congratulate them on their honours and wish them good luck in their endeavours.

Dr Arif Ahmed (Philosophy, 1996), a University of Cambridge Reader in Philosophy and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge,  has been awarded MBE for services to education. He has been campaigning for free speech in the University for many years and fought the recently launched and now withdrawn 'Change the Culture' initiative. 



Stephen Paul Greene (Natural Sciences Chemistry, 2001), Director of Service Operations at BT, was awarded MBE for services to British Telecom and their colleagues’ and customers’ safety during COVID-19.

Dr Katherine Henderson (Medicine/SPS, 1982) has been awarded an MBE  for services to Emergency Medicine during Covid 19 pandemic. Dr Henderson MBE is the first woman President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and a consultant in Emergency Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital.


Gavin Stephens (Management Studies, 1990), Chief Constable of the Surrey Police, has been awarded a QPM (Queen’s Police Medal) for distinguished service and lasting contribution to Neighbourhood Policing. He was nominated for his inspirational leadership and infectious enthusiasm for the job he has been doing with such dedication for 27 years, the job he loves.

Read more here.

Sara Caputo tracking great maritime stories

Congratulations to our alumna Miss Sara Caputo (History, 2015), the Lumley Research Fellow in History at Magdalene College, Cambridge, who in the past year has managed to scoop up three significant academic prizes. She follows her passion for maritime history and especially the voyages of discovery that have shaped our world and our civilisation and impact our travelling modes and goals today.

The Ideas Prize will enable Sara to publish her first book Tracks on the Ocean for whose proposal she was awarded the prize. The book will describe the influential development of “journey lines”, markings on maps that indicate individual journeys, from Magellan's explorations in the 16th century to the routes we follow on our smartphones today. 
Sara has also received The University's Prince Consort and Thirlwall Prize and Seeley Medal, for a historical PhD thesis completed at Cambridge, as well as The British Commission for Maritime History / Boydell & Brewer Prize for best PhD thesis in maritime history completed in the UK in 2019-20.


We are looking forward to seeing you at one of the in-person events we are planning for the autumn:

Donor Day on Saturday 25 September is our traditional way of saying ‘Thank you’ to those who have supported Robinson over the past months and years in our work to offer young people from different backgrounds equal academic and social opportunities.



Reunion 2021 on Saturday 25 September will welcome those of our alumni who were not able to celebrate the anniversaries of their matriculations in 2020. Read more about this event and book your participation here.

From 2022 Reunion Dinner will be held bi-annually, in March for 5-year matriculation anniversaries and in September for 10-year matriculation anniversaries. Please look out for details and your invitations.


Annual Reception in London on Wednesday 29 September, after last year’s cancellation, will be held at Reading Room of the Law Society at 113 Chancery Lane and will gather alumni and friends of Robinson living in the area. 

Read more about this event and book your participation here.


We look forward to seeing you at Grange Road and in London. Please look out for your invitations.

With very best wishes from all at Robinson,

Sarah, Catherine, Liz, Helen, Helen and Norbert
Robinson College Development Office